In this March 17, 2018 photo provided by Shannon Lennon, bottom right, Vice President Mike Pence, bottom left, poses for a selfie with a group during a St. Patrick's Day parade in Savannah, Ga. (Vice President MikePence/Shannon Lennon via AP)

City spent $4,512 on vice president's visit

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Savannah, Ga., officials said they spent $4,512 sprucing up City Hall for Vice President Mike Pence's visit on St. Patrick's Day.

A city news release Monday said costs included $2,900 to install new red carpet in Mayor Eddie DeLoach's conference room and on City Hall's second-floor balcony. Officials also spent $1,000 for a structural assessment of the balcony to ensure it was safe before DeLoach and Pence used it to watch some of the St. Patrick's Day parade Saturday.

Other expenses included carpentry supplies, bunting and flower pots.

City Hall said Pence's visit required no extra costs for local police.


Georgia House backs push to hide lottery winners

ATLANTA — Georgia lottery players who win big could stay anonymous under a proposal approved by the state House.

The House voted 173-1 on Monday in favor of the bill, which legislators say will help public safety.

The legislation says those who win at least $250,000 and submit a written request can prevent their names from being publicly released.

The measure easily passed the Senate last month. But before the bill goes to the governor, senators must approve minor wording changes.

Rep. Ron Stephens of Savannah says lottery winners can be targeted by criminals.

The measure has been criticized by open government advocacy groups, who say it is a bad idea to allow the government to hand out millions to private citizens without a public record.


Tennessee's gubernatorial race forum set on rural issues

JACKSON, Tenn. — A forum next month in Tennessee's race for governor will focus solely on rural issues.

According to The Jackson Sun, the event will take place April 17 at Lane College, WBBJ-TV will broadcast it and the USA Today Network-Tennessee news outlets will livestream it.

The forum will focus on how education and workforce development, economic development, health care and other areas of state policy affect rural communities.

The USA Today Network-Tennessee and Nexstar Media Group will also host a gubernatorial race forum on May 15 at Lipscomb University in Nashville.


Group rallies to save Tennessee art college

MEMPHIS — A five-person board is leading the rally to save a Tennessee art college.

The Commercial Appeal reports in the face of Memphis College of Art's decision last fall to close by 2020 because of dwindling enrollment, $7 million in real estate debt and a small endowment, a group has planned two different approaches to preserve the school.

An online petition has garnered more than 3,300 signatures. Save MCA wants to take over the school after 11 properties are sold to eliminate the debt. If that doesn't work out, leader Tootsie Bell said they want to renew the college at a different location.

MCA Interim President Laura Hine says she'll consider any viable bid to save the school, but it has to be fully funded and committed.